Phoenix Rises at The Pageant


Phoenix is a rock band from France. Still here? OK.


Their bright, dancey pop rock has almost repaid the debt incurred by Johnny Hallyday. Plus, their lyrics are in English, which is pretty much required for becoming huge in America. I’ve been a fan for a while and when I heard they were coming to town, I jumped at the opportunity. Jen, Chris and Rob joined my in my quest to take in the best music that the French have to offer.


One thing I was not prepared for, was the awesome light show. I never really associated Phoenix with trippy, awesome light displays, but that just goes to show that I can be wrong about things from time to time. The lights were awesome, and it gave an extra element to a surprisingly energetic show. While their records are tight and nuanced, their live performance is much more powerful. They even made me like “Fences,” a song that I think is out of place on their most recent album.

One of the neatest moments was at the end of an extended instrumental jam, a white curtain came down in front of the stage and the guitarists were projected as 20-foot shadow puppets. It was surreal and fantastic.

Shadow Puppetry!

Openers Toro y Moi were also really good. I don’t know a single thing about them except that they are an American band with a French name (as opposed to Phoenix, which is the opposite), but after seeing their set, I’m interested in finding out more.

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